Every year, hundreds of events take place around the world in celebration of art and design. Each one brings together the best of the creative world in terms of talent and ideas, offering exhibitions, temporary installations and presentations of previously unseen products.
If you’re having difficulty selecting which ones to visit, here are the ones to definitely consider. To help you out, we’ve narrowed down the top five art-centric events to check out in Europe.
London Craft Week, 8 – 12 May
If visionary creativity is what you are seeking, then London Craft Week is something definitely not to be missed. This fourth edition of the annual event is set to run from May 8 to 12 in the capital city. Celebrating outstanding British and international creativity, this year’s festival brings together over 240 established and emerging makers, designers, brands and galleries from around the world.
Authenticity is said to be at the heart of London Craft Week. The programme itself aims to attract a broad audience united in their appreciation of imagination, individuality, passion and skill. This involves a curated list of events across London that allows visitors to create their own itinerary, meet the makers and gain access to exclusive exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops.
“London has long had a Fashion Week and a Design Festival. Now there is London Craft Week. It is indeed a magical combination of imagination, individuality, passion and skill found in the best-made of things,” states Guy Salter, chairman of London Craft Week. He adds: “It is another example of what, at its best, the world’s creative capital does so well – mixing glamour with cutting edge; heritage and contemporary and the commercial with the cultural.”
There really is something for everyone at London Craft Week – from a leather workshop by Alfred Dunhill to live screen printing by The Conran Shop and Dover Street Market’s gallery of Korean craft objects. There is even a Japanese craft picnic, calligraphy workshop, shoemaking demonstration, basket weaving showcase and lots more. How’s that for all things crafty that you can think of?
Design Miami/Basel, 11 – 16 June
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In this coming Design Miami/Basel, Gallery ALL is delighted to present the MY Collection designed by renown designer Michael Young. The collection consists of a lounge chair, a side table, a writing desk, 2 coffee tables, a console and a sofa. All the work in the collection will be composed of polished stainless steel with white enamel surfaces. Each piece consists of a cluster of hollow metal extrusions capped at each end and covered with enamel. One of the essential qualities of the series is that the pattern is integral to the structure and form, not merely a surface decoration. The design is formed from the structure, rather than a superficial subjective intervention as with traditional methods. Whereas, traditional enamel techniques were applied to copper, here a new process has been developed with an innovative formulation that will allow the enamel to bond with steel. MY Lounge Chair, 2018 by Michael Young Polished Stainless Steel, Cloisonné-style Enamel 70.8H x 85.6W x 85.6D cm 27.8H x 33.7W x 33.7D in #limitededition#design#designart#collectible#collectibledesign#interiordesign#interiorlovers#home#decoration#furnituredesign#interiordesigners#sculptureart#michaelyoung#contemporarydesign#contemporary#galleryall#designmiami#designmiamibasel#padlondon#padparis
While the main design fair takes place annually every year end in Miami, Florida, this sister show is just as interesting and vibrant. As it is, Design Miami/Basel is considered as one of the most important and influential design fairs in Europe. The event (to be held in Basel, Switzerland, from June 11 to 16) is apparently more than a marketplace for design. It is a place where top galleries gather to present museum-quality exhibitions of 20th and 21th-century furniture, lighting and objets d’art.
Each of the shows held here strives to balance exclusive commercial opportunities with progressive cultural programming, creating exciting collaborations between designers and design institutions, panels and lectures. Some of the guests include the who’s who of the art world – luminaries from design and architecture, plus art and fashion. The event also presents unique commissions from the world’s top emerging and established designers and architects.
The aim? Design Miami/Basel seeks to not only satisfy the demand for a high-end design fair, but also to broaden awareness of modern and contemporary design and provide an exciting yet accessible destination for collectors and enthusiasts alike.
Barcelona Design Week, 12 – 19 June
Come June 12 to 19, art enthusiasts will be making their way to the Barcelona Design Week – a place and date that brings together the main players in design from all over the world. This annual event is co-organised by the FAD (Foment De Les Arts Del Disseny, ‘Promotion of the Design Arts’) and the BCD (Barcelona Centre De Disseny, ‘Barcelona Design Centre’).
Each year has a different theme, so to speak. In 2018, the Barcelona Design Week put forth the message of observing all that surrounds us with fresh eyes and rethinking attitudes and models that lack sustainability. This year, it’s all about transition. More specifically: how should everything around us be designed in order for the desired transition towards a more circular economy to occur, putting the world in its natural balance?
At Barcelona Design Week, the programmes often draw from a well-rounded idea of creativity too, offering exciting activities such as a myriad of exhibitions, workshops, circuits, conferences, roundtables and presentations.
Paris Design Week, 5 – 14 September
Paris Design Week will once again see the City of Lights come alive with vibrant activities – all focusing on what’s cool and current in the art world. A whopping 200 key venues will guide visitors along nine themed walks through four districts. According to the organisers, some 100,000 visitors take part in this free celebration of all things design every year. This time, the event will be held from September 5 to 14 – so mark your calendars!
From neighbourhoods with a furnishing tradition to new creative hotspots, Paris Design Week involves the city’s most dynamic venues that are sure to make a splash: showrooms, shops, galleries, studios, workshops, restaurants and museums. Design meets design throughout the entire ten-day event, with the programme providing a multitude of different perspectives and touching a diverse audience. This includes shops and concept stores to browse in, as well as interesting art installations.
Even cafes and fine-dining restaurants join in the fray. Paris Design Week sees gourmet boutiques and cooking professionals tantalise your eyes and your taste buds – all in the name of art.
Helsinki Design Week, 5 – 15 September
Regarded as the largest design festival in the Nordic countries, Helsinki Design Week is a multidisciplinary festival that presents designs from a number of fields as well as fashion, architecture and urban culture. The target of the festival is both the general public and design professionals. Art, after all, is about freedom. As such, everyone and anyone is more than welcome to Helsinki Design Week.
Running from September 5 to 15, this year’s edition will once again host the prestigious Helsinki Design Award, where it honours the best and brightest of Finland’s talented designers. The festival programme takes place in a variety of event spaces spread throughout the city: from museums to markets, and from seminar halls to secret shops. It also looks to new spaces and ways to explore the city.
Also to look out for is the Design Market. This is a rather impressive design stock sale, offering visitors a chance to buy off-season products and prototypes at reduced, affordable prices.
What makes Helsinki Design Week different this year is that the design festival will be hosted in a stunning Neo-Renaissance palace previously owned by the Finnish government. Over the centuries, it served as a home for dignitaries, and for more than 100 years, it provided offices for many government agencies. And opera singer Aino Ackté used to live in the building, among others. Built in 1891, this architectural wonder on Erottaja Street will be open to public for the first time.
Cover Image: London Craft Week
Writer | PY Cheong
PY Cheong has plied the trade of words long enough to recognise the difference between writing and storytelling. Believes in always dressing up his prose. Living and breathing the work he does.